Smallest-ever cancer busting nano-propellers developed by Israeli-German team
ByJudy Siegel-Itzkovich
22 June 2014 18:21
Innovation may be most effective getting cancer drugs into tumor cells to destroy them without harming healthy cells and tissues.
Prof. Alex Leshansky

Prof. Alex Leshansky. (photo credit:TECHNION)

Nano-sized propellers that will make it possible to deliver drugs directly to cells and even inside them using a relatively weak magnetic field have been developed by researchers at Haifa’s Technion-Israel Institute of Technology and at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart, Germany.

They may be most effective getting cancer drugs into tumor cells to destroy them without harming healthy cells and tissues.



Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


The scientists, whose research has just been published in the journal ACS Nano, said that human tissue and biological fluids are “complex visco-elastic media with ananoporous macromolecular structure. Here, we demonstrated that helical nano-propellers can be controllably steered through such a biological gel.”

The screw-like propellers have a filament diameter of about 70 nanometers and are smaller than any previously reported nano-propellers as well as any swimming microorganism.

A nanometer is one-millionth of a meter.

Prof. Alex Leshansky of the chemical engineering faculty at the Technion said that the minuscule “screw propellers” look like the tails of bacteria that propel them through bodily fluids. They are able to control movement of the nano-propellers more easily through gels, but also through liquids.

The Israeli researchers, said Leshansky, worked on the theory, while the German team concentrated on creating the tiny devices, on which they hold a patent. It will take some time, however, until the technology is used in medicine.

“The screw is the shape of the device that pulls corks out of bottles,” Leshansky said.

An exterior, weak magnetic force – which will not harm the body – is used on the outside and can move the propeller inside.
Relevant to your professional network? Please share on Linkedin

Tags:
  • Israel
  • germany
  • health
  • technion
  • Prev Article
    *New Worlds: Crazy inventions from creative minds*
    Crazy inventions from creative minds.
    Modern dentist chair
    Backlash against Health Minister Yael German for her decision to stop fluoridation
    Next Article
    Share this article via
    from around the web
    Related Content
    Lab
    31 August 2014
    Weizmann scientists bring nature back to artificially selected lab mice

    By JUDY SIEGEL-ITZKOVICH

    Top Stories
    Israel Weather
    • 8 - 18
      Beer Sheva
      11 - 18
      Tel Aviv - Yafo
    • 6 - 13
      Jerusalem
      12 - 16
      Haifa
    • 11 - 21
      Elat
      10 - 19
      Tiberias